Medical Marijuana Advocates Come Out Against Proposition 19

The California Cannabis Association is concerned about the proposition's effect on patients

Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010  |  Updated 4:00 PM PDT
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LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 11: Tim Blakeley, manager of Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary, shows marijuana plant buds on May 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The dispensary is one 25 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles fighting to stay open after city prosecutors began notifying 439 medical marijuana dispensaries that they must shut down by June 7. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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A coalition of medical marijuana advocates is coming out against a California ballot initiative that would legalize the drug for recreational use and tax its sales.

The California Cannabis Association said Tuesday that Proposition 19 would inadvertently harm the most vulnerable patients by allowing local governments to prohibit the sale and purchase of marijuana in their jurisdictions.

The group predicts many cities and counties would impose such a ban if voters approve the initiative, leaving local medical marijuana users with few options.

The measure's supporters say it explicitly protects patients' rights and would provide them with safer and easier access to the drug.

If Proposition 19 passes in November, California would be the first state to legalize and regulate recreational pot use.

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